If you’ve taken one of our bake-a-long classes, you’ve heard me fling around strong opinions & advice about the baking tools I consider "essential", so we created a handy guide to share! Some of them are available in our bakery on Broad Ave and for the tools we don’t carry, I’ve provided links to items I recommend. Happy baking!
1. Oven thermometer
Ovens are wonderful, amazing appliances that make modern baking possible. They are also liars. The average home oven is anywhere from 25 to 50 (yes, fifty!) degrees off. My mom discovered that hers was 100 degrees off... ONE HUNDRED, Y'ALL! That makes an enormous difference to your cakes, cookies, breads... everything. Not only does your oven probably lie about how hot it is, it also likely lies about when it’s preheated.
Improve your baking for $5. Keep your oven honest with an oven thermometer.
2. Cookie scoops
The secret to even portions of cookie dough is using a cookie scoop. The three sizes that get, by far, the most use in the Muddy’s kitchen are #24, #30, and #60.
- The red-handled #24 is what we use for our signature drop cookies like molasses ginger and deluxe chocolate chip. It’s the one to reach for when you want a generous (but still manageable) palm-sized cookie. This one also works well for cupcakes!
- The black-handled #30 is a fantastic all-purpose cookie scoop. It’s not quite as large as the #24, but still yields a nice home size cookie.
- For adorable smallish cookies, there’s none better than the pink-handled #60 scoop. Ideal for thumbprint jamborees, but also when you intend to sandwich cookies together (hello oatmeal cream pies & chocolate chip cookie sammiches!).
3. Bench scraper
A real workhorse at the bakers’ bench. I use my bench scraper to cut butter, help me handle dough, measure pastry (mine is exactly 6” long), and scrape my work surface clean of debris as I go. Some even have ruler marks printed on them! Can’t live without it.
4. Offest spatula, mini
At the bakery, I use my miniature offset spatula to slather icing on cookies and do detail work on cakes, but at home I also use it to get a tv-commercial-worthy spread of peanut butter on my toast. It’s the little things, y’all.
5. Kitchen scale
If you really want to raise your game in the baking arena, get thee a kitchen scale. Weighing ingredients yields more accurate, consistent finished goods. At Muddy’s we use grams for just about everything, making scaling recipes up and down a cinch and ensuring that our products are as consistent as can be. There are lots of scales out there at a variety of prices, but this is the one I use at home and at Muddy's.
6. Measuring cups
Even if you switch to the scale, you do still need measuring cups. Use dry cups for dry goods (flour, sugar, etc) and a liquid pourable cup for liquids (water, milk)-- they are not interchangeable! I find it's worth it to keep both a one-cup and a two-cup liquid measuring cup in my home kitchen.
7. Measuring spoons
I use measuring spoons for spices and other small quantity ingredients rather than weighing on my scale. I recommend spoons that fit into a variety of spice jars; one of the participants in a baking class recently recommended these handy ones.
9. Prep bowls
When I’m feeling fancy, I love using these small glass bowls from my very favorite retailer, Fishs Eddy. They have a plastic lid and I use them for prep, packing my lunch, and storing bits & bobs (like dried royal icing "eyeballs" to adorn cupcakes for my nephews, but also sandwiches, fruit slices, and whatever needs livening up). Buuuut I also am practical, and am a huge fan of saving plastic deli containers. Loads of my baking ingredients are decanted into them and I use the pint-sized incredibly often as prep bowl for ingredients. Easy, cheap, stackable, and dishwasher safe (use the top rack).
Hope this list helps! Our baking classes are all about helping home bakers feel more confident and creative in the kitchen, and feeling equipped with the tools to do the job at hand can set you up for success.
Full disclosure: this post does contain a few affiliate links, but I only recommend something if I feel passionately enthusiastic about it!